This is a joint work, I intend to have this read out and published online for free in audio format, so please when critiquing can you put that in mind. This is a draft, so feel free to tear it down with criticism so I can tweak till its perfect.
It sounds crazy to the ears, and seems like a question that we hopefully never have to answer but lets face it, it is real, and the sooner we start dealing with it, the better.
But why me?
It started on the tenth of January last year. I just turned twenty seven, and my biological clock was ticking. I have never brought any man home before and trust my mummy, she was becoming worried.
I even think she was beginning to suspect I was a lesbian. No, she never said it, but you always know and feel it when your parents think there’s something wrong with you.
I could see it in her eyes when she would pick up magazines and pretend to randomly point at men and ask me in a pretend casual tone, “What do you think about this guy?” and then continue glancing at the other pictures, her side eye watching me, waiting for my response and my corresponding facial expression, whether or not i seemed genuinely interested when I would answer, “Wow he is really cute!” or something of that nature.
Needless to say, my mother was getting worried, so worried to the point that she and my junior sister would go on Facebook looking for long lost family friends of ours who were eligible and showed the slightest sign by their status updates, that they were single.
I admit some of the guys were cool, while others were just bleh, but i wasn’t interested.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love men, In fact I lost my virginity at the age of fifteen to a guy who was seven years older than me in my school. Not that it’s something to be proud of at that age, but you get my point. Too bad I found out he had made a bet with his friends to dis-virgin as many girls as was possible before graduating. I was girl number eleven.
I am rambling now, where was I?. oh yeah tenth of January. My dad had travelled out of the country as usual; it was my birthday, and I, my junior sister and mother decided to go to the cinema. we were all seated, to watch Half of a Yellow sun, and the scene with Genevieve and Chinwetel came up. I was jejely eating my popcorn and drinking my soda when this guy beside me tapped my shoulder and said,
“I won’t be surprised if they end up dating after this movie.”
I hate being disturbed when I am occupied with something so i just nodded irritably and continued watching my movie, but the guy continued.
“I used to have a crush on Genevieve, but that was when…”
“Sorry please can i watch the movie?” i interrupted, not even bothering to look at him. My sister who was on the opposite side saw everything that had happen and for some reason tapped my mum and said a few things to her. she could be a gbegborun at times, that girl.
The movie ended shortly afterwards and then I got up, asked to be excused and went to the restroom. I hadn’t even spent up to five minutes when my phone rang.
It was my sister, she sounded scared, apparently my mother had fallen down a few rows while trying to get out of her chair, and had broken her leg. I did not bother looking at the mirror before dashing out to meet them, and there, not too far away from the entrance was my mother, leaning on a man, and my sister hopping along… well for someone who had just witnessed our mother fall and break her leg, she seemed jaunty.
“What happened?” I asked, as I walked up to them. I stared at my mum, the guy, my sister, and then back to the guy. I paused as I stared at him, taking in his appearance.
He was tall with an athletic build and a well chiseled face. God really took his time to create this guy.
“She fell,” he said. His Nigerian accent was crisp and refined.
“Let me take over,” I said, making sure I brushed the guy with my body and took in a deep breath to make sure he was complete, and he had no body odour. He smelt like fresh air.
“Will you move jo,” my mother said. My sister giggled at this but i was a bit confused to bother, so I moved away. As he helped her out of the door however, I dragged my junior sister back.
“What happened?” I asked her.
“Nothing,” she said. “Mummy just fell and the guy offered to help her. He is the one you were being rude to by the way.”
“What are the two of you still doing there?” my mother shouted, embarrassing me. “Will you keep your mother waiting with a stranger.”
At this point i wasn’t sure what was going on, but I had a theory. As i got out, I could not help but regret that i had spoken to this guy rudely. Cute and sexy dude just wasted because of Genevieve. So I opened the door to the car. and then I heard the guy mention some drugs for my mother to take, which only made my heart sink even deeper. He was a doctor.
“Er thank you very much,” I said as I entered the car.
“No problem,” he said, smiling at me, and then he waved and turned to leave. I was mad, of course he won’t ask me for my number now, not after the way I had spoken to him. I cursed myself silently.
“Ode won’t you collect his number,” my mum said to me quietly.
I shook my head. “He is already going.” I said.
“Sister do not let mum’s broken leg be in vain,” said my sister from behind.
“You guys,” I said, tired of their meddling. “Forget it, he has gone too far already, i would look too desperate running up to him. Besides is he not supposed to be the one to ask me, and not the other way around? Haba mummy, I’m not that desperate.”
“But you are desperate,” replied my mum easily as though she was telling me how plantain was cheap in Benin city. “We are desperate for you as well.”
And at that, she hissed and got out of the car, shouting the guy’s name. His name was Philip.
“Are you not going to ask her out again?” My mum asked, when he turned around. She could be so forward and crass this my mum.
I tried with no success to hide under something, anything. I even went as far as opening the dashboard so i could shield myself under it. My stupid sister just kept laughing at me, but I was to embarrassed for myself to get angry. And then I managed to look up.
He was smiling at me. I managed to smile weakly, wondering why I was behaving like I was twelve years old, and then he walked over to me.
“Hi,”he said, smiling again. His teeth, except for just one crooked incisor were perfect, and pure white, and even though his lips were quite dry, I couldn’t care less, all I wanted now was to kiss it, nibble it, and do whatever he let me to do to it,.
“Yeah hello,” I said, trying to gain my composure. I straightened myself up, turned to stare at my mum and sister. They might have as well been watching a soap opera. My sister nudged me to continue, while my mother, taking a hint, sat inside the vehicle. “HI,” i added.
“No movie playing,” he said calmly, looking around. “So I’m not distracting you from anything. Do you want to take a walk?”
My heart was racing, he wanted to take a walk with me, upon how rude i was to him back at the cinema.
“Eh,” I said, feigning disinterest. “I would love to but i have to drive them back home.” I nodded at the two in the car, and miraculously my mother jumped out.
“I will drive us home don’t worry,” she said, reaching out to me and grabbing the car key. My sister burst out laughing again, confirming my suspicions. I got out of the car, and my mother quickly called me aside.
“No later than 5;30,” she said to me seriously, as though it was certain I wanted to take a walk with him. “And don’t drink anything you did not open, and do not go to his house. Are you hearing me, at least for now.”
“Mummy you trained us well, I will not do such,” I said, even though the thoughts running through my head about this guy would make her disappointed and probably drink poison.
Of course they are just thoughts, and nothing more, a lady can dream can’t she. It’s not like I was actually going to let any of it happen, like I said I am a lady, a decent one at that…. Ok maybe I won’t let any such thing happen on the first date, but the second, or maybe the third, or never, I don’t know. Please stop judging me…..
So my mum and sister drove off, while I walked up to him, and we walked together.
“Did you guys plan this?” I asked him, trying to hide my excitement.
“What?” he asked.
“You know there’s nothing wrong with her leg right?”
“Really,” he said, with an incredulous air. “I did not notice. Lilly, that’s your name right?”
“Yes,” I said, deciding it was no use asking how he knew. “And you are?” I asked, pretending not to know his name.
“Philip,” he answered.
“Philip,” i repeated. “Ah, the Philips I know are very serious people, and boring, I think it comes with the name.”
He laughed. “You’ve dated many Philps?”
“NO,” I answered defensively, and he laughed again.
“I am just joking,” he said. “But i like the name Lilly though. You’re the first girl I’ve met answering the name, reminds me of something innocent, like the flower.”
I smiled, and then he asked. “Are you innocent?”
We had gotten to his car, a black FX 35 jeep. as he opened the door, I decided to ignore the question and hopped in.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“To my house,” he said. The way he said you would think we were established friends, or lovers, (I wish.) “And yes I know, I’ll take you back home before 5:30,” he added as I was about protesting.
I sat there as he slot in the car key to start the car, and remembered what my mum had said. I decided I had to tell him not to take me to his place, and that I was not that kind of girl, and that we should go to a park or something or a restaurant. But when he pressed play on his cd player,and Chris Brown’s Take you down started playing, all I managed to say was…
“No, I am not innocent.” And we drove off.